The demise of Yen Chow Street Hawker Bazaar, Sham Shui Po

HF: “The bazaar was set up in the 1970s when the government moved hawkers off nearby streets to its site opposite Sham Shui Po Police Station. More than 100 textile vendors once crammed into the site, which resembles a small squatter village with its patchwork roof of corrugated metal, plastic sheets and tarpaulins. Although they are set out along a grid, the lack of clear signage can make navigating the warren of closely packed stalls a challenge for many visitors.

Now this cradle of style makers is set to be bulldozed, like similar markets in Gilman Street, Central, and Bowring Street, Jordan. The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department has given notice to the two dozen traders holding hawker licences to leave by the end of this month, to make way for the construction of public housing.

The bazaar’s clearance has been on the cards since 2000, when policymakers decided that fabric traders in the cramped and poorly ventilated bazaar (temperatures can be stifling in summer) should be moved out for redevelopment.

Vendors and activists see the demolition as gentrification. Supporters of the quirky, if scruffy bazaar have plastered fencing next to the entrances with protest banners, and a patchwork quilt peppered with messages of solidarity. At weekends, some have organised guided tours and host sketching and photography events in the hope of garnering support for their cause.” (1)


All these photos were taken on 12th October 2016. Many thanks to Sally Trainor (ST) for her contribution. The other images were taken by HF.



Courtesy: ST


Courtesy: ST


Courtesy: ST


Courtesy: ST


This article was first posted on 16th October 2016.


  1. 40 years of fashion finished: demolition of Hong Kong’s famed Yen Chow Street Hawker Bazaar dismays designers SCMP 28th December 2015


  1. Death knell for Hong Kong’s fabric sellers? Not if the government learn from Barcelona SCMP 3rd December 2015
  2. Material costs: Hong Kong fabric sellers face tenfold rise in costs after bazaar makes way for housing project SCMP 25th January 2016
  3. Hong Kong fashion students pay tribute to fabric bazaar set for demolition SCMP 30th March 2016
  4. Government offers compensation, sets deadline for hawkers to vacate iconic Hong Kong textile bazaar SCMP 28th September 2016
  5. Hongkongers gather at Sham Shui Po fabric market in protest at closure order as stall owners decry ‘insufficient’ compensation SCMP 27th December 2016
  6. Doomed Hong Kong fabric bazaar’s fans and stallholders fear for future in new premises SCMP 1st October 2018

Related Indhhk articles:

  1. Central Market, second generation, 1895 photographs
  2. Yau Ma Tei Wholesale Fruit Market – built 1913
  3. The Decline of Street Hawkers in Hong Kong
  4. The Decline of Hawkers Markets in Hong Kong – but where were they?


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